As children and grownups alike anticipate the fun of Halloween, it is important to take precautions to keep pets safe. Holiday dangers for pets can turn a night of amusing chills and thrills into a frightful visit to the veterinary emergency hospital. By keeping a few potential Halloween hazards in mind, you can be proactive in protecting your cats and dogs. Find below some helpful tips on Halloween Safety for Pets so you and your furry friend stay safe.
Common holiday dangers for pets during Halloween
Chocolate contains theobromine, which is toxic when ingested by dogs and cats. Theobromine results in vomiting, diarrhea, rapid heart rate, tremors, seizures and even death when consumed in large enough quantities. Dark baking chocolate that is used in creating those tasty brownies and cupcakes contains the highest concentration of theobromine, but keep in mind that even white chocolate contains the offending substance.
Too much sugar consumption is not healthy for dogs, cats or people. However, sugar-free candies, chewing gum and other sweets contain artificial sweeteners. One of the most commonly used artificial sweeteners is xylitol, and it is highly toxic to your pets. Even in small amounts, xylitol can cause dangerously low blood sugar, liver failure, seizures and death if ingested.
Whether you think of it as lack of manners, lack of patience or enthusiastic dining, most dogs choose to opt out of unwrapping candies before sampling. When dogs consume candy wrappers, foil, lollipop sticks and cellophane wrap, they risk the results of choking and intestinal blockage. Halloween safety for pets should include keeping all candy, gum, baked goods and chocolate out of your pets’ reach. Many pet boutiques carry cookies and treats that are decorated for Halloween and safe for your pets to enjoy instead.
Many households offer healthier snack alternatives to the sugary treats, such as miniature boxes of raisins or bags of nuts. These options are not healthier for your dog or cat. Raisins, which are dried grapes, can cause kidney failure in your pets if consumed. Nuts, especially macadamia nuts, can cause neurological symptoms that include tremors, weakness, staggering and limb paralysis. Peanuts, on the other hand, are not truly nuts. They belong to the legume family and do not pose this toxicity in your pets. This is why peanut butter has always been a safe ingredient of many dog treats.
Open Doors and Commotion
Pets and Halloween activities can be a dangerous combination. Squeals of delight from trick-or-treaters and the frightening sounds and images that we associate with Halloween can be stressful for dogs and cats. In their fright, they may take flight and flee for cover to unsafe locations. With the door being constantly opened to greet trick-or-treaters and Halloween party guests, pets may dart outside in fear and risk getting lost or struck by a vehicle. If you want to take your dog along when chaperoning your little trick-or-treaters through the neighborhood, be sure to keep your canine companion on a short and secure leash. If your dog typically becomes nervous around commotion, tagging along is not a good idea. Consider securing your dog or cat in an isolated room with favorite creature comforts and soothing music during parties or trick-or-treating hours to reduce stress and prevent escape.
There is no decoration more festive for Halloween than the glow and flicker of flaming candles within those grinning and glowering Jack-o-lanterns that you painstakingly carved to creative perfection. These candles can pose a fire hazard for your home and a burn hazard for your pets if they accidentally knock them over in the evening’s excitement. Curious noses and paws can also sustain burns when the dancing flame captivates your dog or cat’s attention. Keep all illuminated candles out of your dog’s reach, and consider barring your cat’s access to rooms that contain them.
Halloween Costumes for Dogs and Cats
If your pooch tolerates wearing a dog costume to celebrate Halloween, be sure that the costume fits him or her properly. Do not allow your dog to wear a costume without supervision. A dog that becomes antsy in a costume may ingest buttons and small decorative accessories of the ensemble in an attempt to free itself, which can result in choking or bowel obstruction. Attempts to wriggle themselves free from a costume can result in strangulation. Never force a pet to wear a costume if it is clearly unreceptive. If your dog is agreeable to wearing a costume, then bring it to a local pet costume parade or have a photo shoot for some fun Halloween pictures, and then liberate your pet from the costume before you walk away. Halloween dog costumes, how to check if your dog is really happy and comfy?!
Pet Health Coverage
Being aware of these holiday dangers for pets and taking steps to eliminate your pets’ exposure to them will ensure a safe and happy Halloween for the entire family. Please keep these tips on Halloween safety for pets in mind to make sure that your dog or cat has the best Halloween possible. Keep your pet protected in case of accidents, learn more about pet insurance coverage plans here or get a free QUOTE. Happy Halloween!